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Trump told U.S. officials to work with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine policy, ambassador to EU testifies

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, arrives for closed-door testimony before House committees on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. Donald Trump's allies hope Sondland, a U.S. diplomat and a generous donor to the president, will offer favorable testimony to House panels to counter a slew of damaging revelations in the impeachment inquiry. | BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump directed senior U.S. officials to talk directly to his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, about U.S. policy in Ukraine, raising concern that the ...

Putin watches missile launch during nuclear arms drill

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin observes the Grom (Thunder) 2019 military exercises as he visits the National Center for State Defence Control, in Moscow Thursday. | SPUTNIK / ALEXEI DRUZHININ / KREMLIN / VIA REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin watched Thursday as the country’s armed forces tested missiles that can carry thermo-nuclear warheads.The Grom-19 or Thunder-19 strategy games began Wednesday...

Islamic State says it ‘freed’ women held by Syrian Kurds in Raqqa as elsewhere other jihadis escape

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

Syrian government forces raise a national flag and an image of President Bashar Assad at the Tabqa air base in Syria's Raqqa region in northern Syria on Wednesday. Assad's troops have returned to key northern areas for the first time in years in a deal with the Kurds, seeking protection after Trump ordered the withdrawal of some 1,000 U.S. troops. | AFP-JIJI

The Islamic State group said Thursday it had “freed” women held by Syria’s Kurds, the latest in a series of reported breakouts since Turkey launched ...

Over half of Wisconsin vaping samples tested by FDA contain marijuana ingredient THC

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

A man uses a vape device in September. | REUTERS

Vaping product samples from Wisconsin linked to a rash of serious lung injuries tested by U.S. health regulators showed that more than half contained THC, ...

Italy retrieves seven bodies from Oct. 7 migrant shipwreck off Lampedusa

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

Italy has recovered the bodies of a child and six other people from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, more than a week after a ...

African refugee women report surge in sexual attacks in Egypt

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

A female refugee who says she was a victim of violent sexual assault rests her hands on a balcony in Cairo Wednesday. | REUTERS

The 17-year-old South Sudanese refugee finally managed to escape after three months as a prisoner in a Cairo apartment where she was repeatedly gang raped, ...

Trump trumpets Turkish cease-fire but Kurd ex-allies must vacate Syria border area, allowing Ankara to solidify gains

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

President Donald Trump speaks as he tours the Louis Vuitton Workshop Rochambeau in Alvarado, Texas, Thursday. | AP

The U.S. and Turkey agreed Thursday to a cease-fire in the Turks’ deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, requiring the Kurds to vacate ...

U.K. heading for ‘fairly hard’ Brexit if Johnson deal passes

By David Milliken,Mark John
- via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves a news conference at the European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday. | REUTERS

If Prime Minister Boris Johnson wins parliamentary backing for the Brexit deal he clinched with Brussels on Thursday, Britain will be on course for more ...

Bottled water sellers ponder aluminum cans over plastic

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

A woman drinks bottled water during hot weather in Berlin in July. | BLOOMBERG

Global bottled water giants are ramping up trials of easily recyclable aluminum cans to replace plastic that pollutes the world’s seas. Sound like a slam-dunk ...

Mexican troops battle gunmen after finding son of drug lord ‘El Chapo’

via The Japan Times    Oct 18, 2019

Bullet-ridden vehicles lie in Culiacan, Mexico, on Thursday after heavily armed gunmen in four-by-four trucks fought an intense battle with Mexican security forces. | AFP-JIJI

An intense gunfight with heavy weapons and burning vehicles blocking roads paralyzed the capital of Mexico’s Sinaloa state Thursday after security forces located one of ...

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